Are you measuring customer satisfaction for your business? If not, your customers might unpleasantly surprise you at the time of service renewal.
According to research,
68% of customers have switched brands because of a poor experience.
78% of customers have backed out of purchase due to poor customer experience.
51% of customers would never do business with a brand after just one poor experience.
If you don’t track customer satisfaction at multiple touchpoints, you won’t be able to address customer issues in time. As a result, you’ll lose them without even knowing it.
How do brands track customer satisfaction? By using the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).
In this detailed guide, we’ll show you how CSAT works and how you can use it to gather actionable customer insights on time. Plus, we’ll show you how to drastically improve your customer satisfaction score using personalized video recordings (with examples).
What Is Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)?
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a metric that businesses use to understand how satisfied their customers are with a specific interaction. It allows companies to gauge their product or service’s customer experience at various touchpoints using surveys that customers can quickly answer on a scale of 1 to 10 or other closed-ended scales such as “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree”.
Here’s an example of a simple CSAT survey question Shopify uses to gauge the usefulness of its Help content.
Here’s a slightly longer CSAT survey used at the end of a support interaction.
CSAT is among the most popular ways to measure customer satisfaction for two reasons.
It converts the overall customer sentiment into measurable and actionable data.
CSAT surveys have a high response rate because of their specific, easy-to-answer questions.
This is why all kinds of businesses, including SaaS, eCommerce, retail, and conventional & digital service providers, use CSAT to measure customer happiness.
The flexibility CSAT offers means it can be used at any stage of your customer lifecycle. But businesses most commonly use CSAT
After support emails/interactions
After service delivery
During and after sales interactions
To measure the user experience of specific product features
To get customer feedback on new product offerings
To gauge in-store customer experience
To measure the effectiveness of customer service content
CSAT is different from other feedback methods because it seeks feedback about specific interactions. This allows companies to measure customer happiness separately for different product features, service offers, website content, customer service interactions, etc.
As a result, a company can gather dozens of quick CSAT responses from every customer during their lifecycle. This allows them to pinpoint problem areas and take actionable steps to improve customer experience.
For example, suppose a customer, whose previous customer service experiences have largely been positive submits a negative CSAT response. In that case, the company can immediately look into the matter to determine its reasons.
Like any other metric, you can look at CSAT in isolation. One of CSAT’s biggest criticisms is that it only measures satisfaction, which cannot be equated to customer happiness. That’s partially true. Sometimes, a customer is satisfied with a product or service but doesn’t feel excited enough to keep using it.
This is why CSAT makes more sense when used in tandem with Net Promoter Score (NPS), which we’ll briefly discuss later, and other customer satisfaction indicators that give you a holistic picture of your customer’s likelihood to keep doing business with you.
How To Calculate CSAT?
Calculating customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is relatively straightforward, which is one of the reasons why it's so popular.
Here’s how it works.
You ask your audience a CSAT survey question, and they respond to it using an option from a satisfaction scale. Most brands use scales from 1 to 10 and "Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree". But you can go for simpler choices like Yes or No as well.
However, one of the risks with using numeric scales like 1 to 10 is that it can confuse the respondents who might interpret 1 as “Best” and 10 as “Worst” or vice versa. You can handle this by labeling your scales.
Or you could use visual scales with emojis to make it easier for your respondents.
CSAT scores fall between 0-100%, the higher, the better.
Here’s how you can calculate it.
CSAT = (Total satisfied customers ÷Total surveyed customers) x 100
As you can see, you can calculate CSAT by dividing the total number of satisfied responses by the total number of customers surveyed and multiplying it by 100.
For example, let's say your CSAT survey asks users, "Was this article helpful" with Yes and No as the possible answers. The total responses are 50 out of which 45 are "Yes" (satisfied).
So your CSAT score would be
(45/50) x 100 = 90%
This formula works for binary responses like Yes/No, Agree/Disagree, True/False, Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, etc.
However, if you’re using a scale from 1 to 10 or Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, or anything similar, the formula would work slightly differently.
Instead of counting the total number of positive responses, you’ll add the values of all the responses and divide them by the total possible value of the scale.
The CSAT formula would be
CSAT = (Total Positive Response Scores Given ÷ Total Possible Response Scores) x 100
If you’re using emojis for responses or a descriptive scale, like Agree, Disagree, etc., simply assign a value to each response.
Strongly Disagree: 1
Not Sure: 3
Strongly Agree: 5
Using these two formulas, you can calculate CSAT for all scenarios. The higher your customer satisfaction score (CSAT) gets, the more satisfied your customers are.
What Is A Good CSAT Score?
So, you've calculated your customer satisfaction score and have lots of data to play with.
But what exactly is a good CSAT score? You know the higher it is, the better. But what's a desirable level? What's the industry norm?
Let me explain.
If you go by the numbers, any CSAT score above 80% is considered good, and anything below 60% is worrisome. You can get industry-specific CSAT benchmarks on ASCI's (American Customer Satisfaction Index) website.
However, there’s something I want you to understand about CSAT.
CSAT is an indicator of your customer’s happiness with respect to a specific interaction. You can look at it in two ways.
Most businesses, especially SaaS and digital service companies, interact multiple times with their customers and usually maintain their customer service and satisfaction records separately.
Analyzing a customer’s CSAT scores individually is a good indicator of their satisfaction with your brand. Plus, it allows you to immediately identify poor experiences and take corrective action.
For example, if a customer has an average individual CSAT score of 80%, you can categorize them as most satisfied. Plus, you can view their profiles to identify the 20% of experiences that were unsatisfactory.
Similarly, if a customer's CSAT score falls below 80%, you can immediately analyze their profile to find the poor experiences that lead to a decrease in ratings.
So, your goal is not to achieve a specific CSAT score. Instead, whatever the score is, you’re looking to improve it by identifying the poor experiences and taking corrective measures.
Analyzing the average CSAT score of your total customer base gives you a good idea of their happiness levels. But whatever the score is, you should be looking to improve it.
For example, if your CSAT score is 85%, dig deeper to find out what’s wrong with the 15% of the experiences.
Try finding trends to identify any specific touchpoints affecting your customer experience. For example, you might find one of your new features hasn't gone down well with your customers. Or a new customer service representative is consistently getting bad ratings.
Whatever it is, you can’t ignore it just because you have an 80% CSAT score.
So whatever score you have, keep working to improve it.
When To Measure CSAT?
So, when should you measure customer satisfaction score (CSAT)?
There’s honestly no universal answer to this.
Some companies measure it only once or twice through a customer’s lifecycle. Others do it in every interaction.
So, it really depends on your business model.
For example, a restaurant might measure CSAT every time a customer dines in. But a SaaS company would irritate customers if it pops up a survey every time a user logs in.
In general, you should measure CSAT on all the critical customer touchpoints regularly. Digital and web-based businesses like SaaS, eCommerce, and service-based companies should ideally measure CSAT in the following instances.
If you sell annual software subscriptions, measure CSAT at least once a quarter to get an idea of your customer sentiment. eCommerce companies and services providers can also run quarterly CSAT surveys based on a visitor’s frequency of visits.
Ideally, you should use CSAT to gather immediate feedback on specific interactions. But using it quarterly helps you collect valuable data across a customer's lifetime.
Before Contract Renewals
Measuring CSAT 3-6 months before contract renewals has several benefits. First, it helps you gauge customer satisfaction and gather actionable feedback. Plus, it provides you enough time to take corrective measures if a customer isn't satisfied with your product or service.
After Major Product Releases
Features are meant to make your product more useful to your customers and help them solve their problems more efficiently.
But you’ll only know if a feature has made life easier for your customers if you ask them.
This is why running CSAT surveys after every significant product release is critical to understanding user experience. For example, whenever a user accesses the new feature, ask them a quick question to see if it's adding value.
This would allow you to improve your product and introduce relevant features your customers want to use.
After Support Interactions
When your support staff responds to a help ticket, ends a live chat session, or helps a customer on call, send them a CSAT survey to measure satisfaction.
This is an ideal time to run CSAT surveys as it accurately captures your customer’s sentiments and helps you evaluate your support team’s performance.
At End Of Help Content
If your site has a Knowledge Base or Help section with product tutorials, FAQs, and other feature-specific guides, add a CSAT survey at the end of every page to measure its usefulness.
This is critical because if your help content doesn’t sufficiently answer your customer queries, you’ll get more tickets, phone calls, and live chat requests, putting additional stress on your support team.
CSAT Examples - Questions To Ask When Measuring CSAT
The quality of your survey responses and insights heavily depends on the accuracy of your questions.
If you want to measure the overall happiness of your customers, ask them generic questions. But if you’re looking for feedback on features, service interactions, or touchpoints, ask very specific questions with easy-to-answer options.
In some cases, you may provide respondents a text box in addition to multiple-choice answers so that they can provide more context. But use it sparingly since it’s hard to interpret open-ended answers on a mass scale.
Here are some questions that you might find useful when running CSAT surveys. Feel free to tailor them to your business model.
SaaS CSAT Questions
How easy was it to use [New Feature]?
How satisfied are you with our website experience?
How satisfied are you with our product demo?
How would you rate our customer support?
How satisfied are you with our product onboarding process?
What is your favorite feature of our product?
What feature do you wish our product had? [Open-ended or Multiple-Choice]
Retail/eCommerce CSAT Questions
Did you find the product you were looking for?
How would you rate your visit?
How helpful was our support staff?
Did the product descriptions provide sufficient information?
How would you rate our product images?
How likely are you to buy from us again?
Service-Based Business CSAT Questions
How well did our consultant understand your requirements?
How would you rate our initial requirement gathering call?
Is our new website easier to navigate than the last one?
How satisfied are you with our consultant’s knowledge and experience?
How was your experience of working with us?
Did we meet your expectations?
Would you be happy to give us a testimonial?
Generic CSAT Questions
Did our support team answer your question?
How easy was it to talk to our customer support?
Did this article answer your question?
How many times did you have to contact us to solve your problem?
Overall, how happy are you with our [product/service]?
Pros And Cons Of Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is perhaps the most widely used customer survey type across industries. But like all methodologies, it has strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s discuss them briefly.
CSAT surveys are short and easy to create.
CSAT surveys have a higher response rate because they don’t take much time.
CSAT surveys make it easy to identify bad experiences since they’re related to specific interactions.
Most customer service and helpdesk software have built-in CSAT survey features.
CSAT rating scales are quite flexible and can be modified for any business type.
CSAT isn’t an ideal survey method to measure overall customer satisfaction since it’s primarily focused on immediate interactions.
CSAT does not always provide context to the responses, which leaves room for interpretation.
CSAT responses can be misleading because there's some ambiguity about what is a "Good" or "Bad" response. For example, some respondents may use "Very Good" while others might choose "Good" to describe the same experience and excitement level.
CSAT surveys offer limited scope for open-ended questions.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) vs. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) helps you measure customer satisfaction for specific interactions. However, it’s not enough to determine if your customer is excited about your service, would renew their contract, and bring in more referral business.
This is why using CSAT, combined with other customer surveys such as NPS, is much more insightful.
What is NPS?
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a widely used metric that measures the likelihood of a customer to recommend your company to their friends, family, and circle of influence.
In easier words, NPS shows you whether your customers are happy enough with your product to recommend it to others for free.
An NPS survey usually asks your customers the following question:
“How likely are you to recommend our brand to your friends or family?” [On a scale of 1 to 10]
What is the difference between CSAT and NPS?
CSAT measures whether your service meets the customer's expectations for a specific interaction. But a higher satisfaction score doesn't mean the customer is also loyal to your brand.
A satisfied customer can easily defect to a competitor if it offers a much more exciting or tempting experience.
This is where NPS comes in handy.
NPS goes beyond satisfaction to measure how much a customer is loyal to your brand. A satisfied customer might leave you for a competitor. But a loyal customer rarely leaves. In fact, loyalty drives advocacy and helps you attract referral customers.
Why is this important?
Because according to research, 74% of consumers identify word of mouth by friends and family as a key influencer in their purchase decisions.
So the higher your brand NPS, the easier it is for you to attract referral customers.
When used together, CSAT and NPS provide you with deep insights into how your customers feel about your brand in different ways.
When to use CSAT?
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a flexible and customizable survey type you can use to understand your customers’ needs and whether you’re meeting their expectations.
So, you should ideally use CSAT when you’re trying to gauge your service standards and get feedback from your customers.
Modify your questions to understand customer feedback from different angles, find out the weaknesses in your customer experience, and make improvements where possible.
CSAT is a leading indicator of your business health. Use it to understand if your product or service is doing what it is supposed to do by gathering feedback on specific customer interactions.
When to use NPS?
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a slightly more one-dimensional survey that helps you gauge customer loyalty and happiness. It goes a step beyond satisfaction and shows you whether you’ve delivered enough value to your customers to turn them into brand advocates.
It is ideal to use NPS after your customer completes a major milestone. For example, you can run an NPS survey immediately after onboarding.
ClearVoice, a leading platform that connects content marketers with brands, runs NPS surveys when a freelancer gets paid or a client marks a project as approved.
If a customer positively responds to an NPS survey, many brands immediately ask them for a quick referral by providing them a referral form or affiliate link.
However, unlike CSAT, NPS is a lagging indicator of your business health. It is hard to change because it is often the result of multiple customer interactions over a long period.
If you’re regularly collecting customer feedback through CSAT surveys and taking corrective measures all the time, your NPS score should generally be positive.
In short, CSAT helps you identify the problems and weaknesses in your product or services and provides you with the necessary insights to increase customer satisfaction. On the other hand, NPS gives you a more holistic picture of your customer's loyalty to your brand.
How To Improve CSAT With Video
A high CSAT score indicates that customers are generally satisfied with your product or service, which is a very positive sign.
On the contrary, a low CSAT score means you’re not meeting your customer’s expectations and might soon lose them.
So, how do you improve your CSAT score?
Generally, the fastest way to improve CSAT scores is by addressing the specific problems your customers are facing. Since CSAT surveys are mostly about specific interactions, it’s not hard to identify the problem areas.
When you address your weaknesses, your CSAT will automatically go up.
More specifically, one of the most effective ways to improve customer satisfaction is by using asynchronous video recordings.
Why? Because they drastically improve communication, help you convey your message more effectively, and ensure your customers get all the information they need.
For example, instead of using help articles in your website’s knowledge base, create quick screen recordings that not only tell your customers how to do something but actually show them how it's done.
This is precisely what we experienced here at Loom when we started using more screen recordings instead of emails and written content when handling customer queries. We started resolving customer issues faster and much more comprehensively.
As a result, our CSAT score shot up to 93%.
This isn’t an isolated case. Many other Loom users are doing the same.
For example, Postclick drastically increased its customer satisfaction and support team's productivity and efficiency by switching to video responses instead of long emails when handling complex issues.
They created Loom recordings in response to every customer issue and added them to their website’s knowledge base for other users.
Why is this approach so effective?
Because screen recordings are much easier to understand compared to plain text.
Videos reduce miscommunication and help you close customer tickets faster.
These videos become your brand’s permanent asset and help you respond to other customers with the same problems.
Loom recordings are personalized since you have the option to show your face in the corner of the screen. This has a very positive impact on your customers since it shows you take their issues seriously.
Since anyone can create Loom recordings for free, many of our customers now actively encourage their clients to report their issues using screen recordings instead of text emails or phone calls.
These factors ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and a higher CSAT rating.
Use CSAT To Offer A Memorable Customer Experience
CSAT is an effective way to understand customer sentiments and identify the weakness in your product and support processes. Don’t limit its use to measuring customer satisfaction. Go a step ahead and use the insights from CSAT to consistently improve your product and provide a memorable customer experience.
Because ultimately, a memorable experience leads to customer loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing for your brand.